Hebrews 1 … Consider Him Who Sat Down

…When He had made purification of sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, (1:3).

Though the book of Hebrews is typically referred to as an epistle, or letter, many scholars have surmised that this “letter” reads more like teachings from sermons that had been concisely organized.

So before we dig in, a little background into this book of exhortations will aid us as we launch into this next leg of our journey.

From NIV Study Bible:

Literary Form: Hebrews is commonly referred to as a letter, though it does not have the typical form of a letter. It ends like a letter (13:22-25) but begins more like an essay or sermon (1:1-4)… he begins with a magnificent statement about Jesus Christ. He calls his work a “word of exhortation” (13:22), the conventional designation given a sermon in a synagogue service (see Ac 13:15, where “message of encouragement” translates the same Greek words as “word of exhortation”). Like a sermon, Hebrews is full of encouragement, exhortations and stern warnings. It is likely that the author used sermonic materials and sent them out in a modified letter form…

Theme: The theme of Hebrews is the absolute supremacy and sufficiency of Jesus Christ as revealer and as mediator of God’s grace. The prologue (1:4) presents Christ as God’s full and final revelation, far surpassing the revelation given in the OT. The prophecies and promises of the OT are fulfilled in the “new covenant” (or “new testament”), of which Christ is the mediator. From the OT itself, Christ is shown to be superior to the ancient prophets, to angels, to Moses (the mediator of the former covenant) and to Aaron and the priestly succession descended from him. Hebrews could be called “the book of better things” since the two Greek words for “better” and “superior” occur 15 times in the letter…

Author: The writer of this letter does not identify himself, but he was obviously well known to the original recipients… One thing is evident: The author was a master of the Greek language of his day, and he was thoroughly acquainted with the pre-Christian Greek translation of the OT (the Septuagint), which he regularly quotes.

Recipients: The letter was addressed primarily to Jewish converts who were familiar with the OT and who were being tempted to revert to Judaism or to Judaize the gospel (cf. Gal 2:14).

There is no doubt we are sure to see “the better things” manifested in our Superior Savior throughout our time in the book of Hebrews. And in today’s fourteen brief verses there is so much to consider about “the better things” of Jesus Christ, the Son and Savior; and each one is so very worthy of our time to seriously ponder.

Jesus is revealed as Superior to the Prophets; as the Son; as the Appointed Heir of All Things; as God’s Final Word Spoken; as the Radiance of God’s Glory; as the Upholder of All Things by the Word of His Power; as Superior to Angels; as God; as Him Whose Throne is Forever and Ever; as the Creator of the Earth and the Heavens; and as Him Who Sits at the Right Hand of God.

Like I said, so much to consider. And in trying to direct my attention to just one aspect of “the better things” from today’s reading, I was continually drawn back to what He alone was able to do as our High Priest; He Sat Down.

…When He had made purification of sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, (1:3).

In 2019, I experienced the great privilege of traveling to Israel, which included a tour of the Timna Park life-size replica tabernacle that was built according to the exact pattern God had given Moses while on Mount Sinai.

“See that you make them after the pattern for them, which was shown to you on the mountain,” (Exodus 25:40).

The replica tabernacle contains every article and furnishing according to the specifications given for the tabernacle of Moses. When we were brought into the Holy of Holies, replicating the place of His Holy Presence, the place only the high priest was allowed to enter on the Day of Atonement to bring the sacrificial blood to atone for his own sins and the sins of the people, we saw replicas of every piece of furniture the original tabernacle held. But what was not there, neither in the original nor the replica, was a chair. For there would never be a time to sit in His Holy Presence, for there would never be a time when the work of the high priest was finished; the work of the high priest was unending and was required year after year after year.

“Now you shall have this as a permanent statute, to make atonement for the sons of Israel for all their sins once every year.” And just as the Lord had commanded Moses, so he did, (Leviticus 16:34).

But Jesus, Our Great and Perfect High Priest, finished the work of our salvation and Sat Down at the right hand of the Majesty on High. Only Jesus was able; only Jesus had the right; only Jesus, after offering the atoning sacrifice, Sat Down in the Presence of Holy God.

…When He had made purification of sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, (1:3).

Consider Him Who Sat Down

  • He Sat Down for He alone is holy, innocent, undefiled and separated from sinners.
    •  For it was fitting for us to have such a high priest, holy, innocent, undefiled, separated from sinners and exalted above the heavens, (Hebrews 7:26).
  • He Sat Down for He alone needed no offering for His own sins.
    • who does not need daily, like those high priests, to offer up sacrifices, first for His own sins and then for the sins of the people, because this He did once for all when He offered up Himself. (Hebrews 7:27).
  • He Sat Down for He alone is appointed the perfect Son forever.
    • For the Law appoints men as high priests who are weak, but the word of the oath, which came after the Law, appoints a Son, made perfect forever, (Hebrews 7:28).
  • He Sat Down for He alone offered one sacrifice for sins for all time.
    • Every priest stands daily ministering and offering time after time the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins; 12 but He, having offered one sacrifice for sins for all time, sat down at the right hand of God, (Hebrews 10:11-12).
  • He Sat Down for He alone is the author and perfecter of our faith.
    •  fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God, (Hebrews 12:2).

And here is the main point: for all of us who have trusted in Him Who Sat Down, He is our High Priest Who offered Himself as the atonement for our sins, once for all time.

Now the main point in what has been said is this: we have such a high priest, who has taken His seat at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens, (Hebrews 8:1).

How do we respond to Him Who Sat Down?

Jesus, the Son, came to do the work of the Father.

But He answered them, “My Father is working until now, and I Myself am working,” (John 5:17).

But the time came when He fulfilled the Scriptures, declaring His atoning work was finished as He breathed His last breath and died on the cross for our sins.

After this, Jesus, knowing that all things had already been accomplished, to fulfill the Scripture, said, “I am thirsty.” 29 A jar full of sour wine was standing there; so they put a sponge full of the sour wine upon a branch of hyssop and brought it up to His mouth. 30 Therefore when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” And He bowed His head and gave up His spirit, (John 19:28-30).

And then He took His rightful place as He Sat Down, His rightful place He had given up for us, that He would atone for our sins through His humiliating death on a cross.

…Christ Jesus, 6 who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross,  (Philippians 2:5-7).

Today, let us consider “the better things” of His sacrifice for us. For only Christ Jesus was qualified to finish what was required for the payment of our sins through His atoning blood.

He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world, (1 John 2:2).

Let us always remember, it is His work, not ours. It is His gift of grace to be received by faith in His atoning sacrifice for our sins.

 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast, (Ephesians 2:8-9).

The enemy is furiously at work to distract us from our faith with questions of doubts. Is His work enough? Isn’t there more we must do?

Oh, that we would be continuously reminded, He Sat Down. It is finished. And He Sits at the right hand of God in His rightful place in all His radiant glory, upholding all things by the Word of His Power.

And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power. When He had made purification of sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, (1:3).

This is our God, our Savior. This is Him Who perfectly accomplished our salvation. This is Him Who Sat Down, for it is finished.

Let us conquer the doubts as we daily seek “the better things” of Him Who Sat Down, that we would not be provoked by the taunting questions of the enemy. Oh, that we would remain securely planted in the truth of what He has done, of Who He Is, and of who we are in Him. Let us decide to daily set our minds on our life hidden in Him and on the day that is coming when we will be revealed in glory with Him Who Sat Down.

Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory, (Colossians 3:1-4).

Let’s Grow Together!

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